CLAY COUNTY, Ind. (WTHI) - A new law effective this year will help Indiana teachers stop bullying.
It requires each public school to develop a bullying prevention program.
It provides training to teachers, principals, counselors, superintendents.
According to school officials, it's about education.
All schools have some form of bullying, but it's all about attacking the issue before it’s too late, and stopping it before it starts.
"Besides home, school should be the safest place for kids to be,” said Clay County Assistant Superintendent Tim Rayle.
The Indiana anti-bullying legislation is old news to Rayle.
His corporation is one step ahead.
The Clay County school corporation implemented anti-bullying policies almost two years ago.
"We thought we had a need. For our students, we want our buildings to be a safe and secure place for our students,” said Rayle.
School officials attacked the issue head-on.
“How are we going to educate? And how are we going to make sure our teachers know what to look for, parents know what to look for, and our students feel safe in reporting,” said Rayle.
Rayle said all schools have varying problems with bullying and his schools are no exception.
But how they choose to approach it makes all the difference.
“Working on the positive aspects instead of the consequences or discipline part,” said Rayle.
Rayle is pleased with the new legislation.
It allows the school corporation to take their involvement one step further.
“Wherever bullying is occurring, if the students are within the district, then you have the right to react. for us that means making sure we're providing education for the bully and also counseling and protecting the target,” said Rayle.
But does simply educating students and adults on bullying make a difference?
Rayle says, yes.
“Research shows it does. The more you educate, the less bullying occurs in the schools,” said Rayle.
Making sure students can concentrate on their learning.
“Students should feel they want to come to school and not be afraid of coming to school,” said Rayle.
Thursday, the Clay County School Corporation is holding a district-wide safety committee on anti-bullying policies and procedures to start off the new year right.
Governor Mike Pence enacted the state-wide anti-bullying policy on July 1.
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